How to see the Perseid meteor shower peak this weekend

One of the best meteor showers of the year peaks this weekend, and with any luck, you should be able to spot at least a few of the shooting stars for yourself. 

The Perseid meteor shower is expected to peak the night of August 12, into the wee hours of the morning on August 13.

If you happen to be in a light-pollution-free area with nice weather, you'll probably be able to see about 60 or 70 meteors streaking through the moonless sky, according to NASA estimates. 

Photos of the Perseid meteor shower in 2015: 

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Perseid meteor shower 2015
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Perseid meteor shower 2015
A long exposure image showing an aeroplane passing in the sky during the Perseids meteor shower over the remains of St. Ilia Roman early Christian basilica dated back to the 5th6th century AD near the town of Pirdop, early on August 12, 2015. The Perseid meteor shower occurs every year in August when the Earth passes through the debris and dust of the Swift-Tuttle comet. The Perseid meteor shower -- an annual display of natural fireworks -- should be particularly spectacular this year, with extra-dark skies expected to create optimal stargazing conditions, astronomers said on August 7, 2015. AFP PHOTO / NIKOLAY DOYCHINOV (Photo credit should read NIKOLAY DOYCHINOV/AFP/Getty Images)
SPRING MOUNTAINS NATIONAL RECREATION AREA, NV - AUGUST 13: A Perseid meteor streaks across the sky above desert pine trees on August 13, 2015 in the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area, Nevada. The annual display, known as the Perseid shower because the meteors appear to radiate from the constellation Perseus in the northeastern sky, is a result of Earth's orbit passing through debris from the comet Swift-Tuttle. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
A photographer prepares to take pictures of the annual Perseid meteor shower in the village of Crissolo, near Cuneo, in the Monviso Alps region of northern Italy, on August 13, 2015. The Perseid meteor shower occurs every year when the Earth passes through the cloud of debris left by Comet Swift-Tuttle. AFP PHOTO / MARCO BERTORELLO (Photo credit should read MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty Images)
A falling star crosses the night sky behind illuminated windmills near Gemuend, western Germany, during the peak in activity of the annual Perseids meteor shower on August 13, 2015. The Perseids meteor shower occurs every year when the Earth passes through the cloud of debris left by Comet Swift-Tuttle. AFP PHOTO / DPA / OLIVER BERG +++ GERMANY OUT (Photo credit should read OLIVER BERG/AFP/Getty Images)
A falling star (L) crosses the night sky near Gemuend, western Germany, as the trace of an airplane (R) also can be seen during the peak in activity of the annual Perseids meteor shower on August 13, 2015. The Perseids meteor shower occurs every year when the Earth passes through the cloud of debris left by Comet Swift-Tuttle. AFP PHOTO / DPA / OLIVER BERG +++ GERMANY OUT (Photo credit should read OLIVER BERG/AFP/Getty Images)
A photographer prepares to take pictures of the annual Perseid meteor shower in the village of Crissolo, near Cuneo, in the Monviso Alps region of northern Italy, on August 13, 2015. The Perseid meteor shower occurs every year when the Earth passes through the cloud of debris left by Comet Swift-Tuttle. AFP PHOTO / MARCO BERTORELLO (Photo credit should read MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty Images)
ONDREJOV, CZECH REPUBLIC - AUGUST 12: Perseid meteor (L) streaks across the sky over the radar near the Astronomical Institute of the Academy of Science of the Czech Republic on August 12, 2015 in Ondrejov, Czech Republic. The annual display, known as the Perseid shower, because the meteors appear to radiate from the constellation Perseus in the northeastern sky, is the result of Earth's orbit passing through debris from the comet Swift-Tuttle. (Photo by Matej Divizna/Getty Images)
A falling star crosses the night sky over Halle / Saale, eastern Germany, during the peak in activity of the annual Perseids meteor shower on August 13, 2015. The Perseids meteor shower occurs every year when the Earth passes through the cloud of debris left by Comet Swift-Tuttle. AFP PHOTO / DPA / HENDRIK SCHMIDT +++ GERMANY OUT (Photo credit should read HENDRIK SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
A meteor passes across the sky during the peak in activity of the annual Perseids meteor shower in the village of Rufforth, near York, northern England on August 12, 2015. The Perseids meteor shower occurs every year when the Earth passes through the cloud of debris left by Comet Swift-Tuttle. AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFF (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
A photographer prepares to take pictures of the annual Perseid meteor shower in the village of Crissolo, near Cuneo, in the Monviso Alps region of northern Italy, on August 13, 2015. The Perseid meteor shower occurs every year when the Earth passes through the cloud of debris left by Comet Swift-Tuttle. AFP PHOTO / MARCO BERTORELLO (Photo credit should read MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty Images)
A long exposure image showing a Perseids meteor (L) streaking across the night sky over the remains of St. Ilia Roman early Christian basilica dated back to the 5th6th century AD near the town of Pirdop, early on August 12, 2015. The Perseid meteor shower occurs every year in August when the Earth passes through the debris and dust of the Swift-Tuttle comet. The Perseid meteor shower -- an annual display of natural fireworks -- should be particularly spectacular this year, with extra-dark skies expected to create optimal stargazing conditions, astronomers said on August 7, 2015. AFP PHOTO / NIKOLAY DOYCHINOV (Photo credit should read NIKOLAY DOYCHINOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Clouds partly cover the star speckled night sky over Sieversdorf, eastern Germany, on August 11, 2015. The peak of the Perseid meteor shower is expected for the night to Thursday, August 13, 2015. AFP PHOTO / DPA / PATRICK PLEUL +++ GERMANY OUT (Photo credit should read PATRICK PLEUL/AFP/Getty Images)
A photographer prepares to take pictures of the annual Perseid meteor shower in the village of Crissolo, near Cuneo, in the Monviso Alps region of northern Italy, on August 13, 2015. The Perseid meteor shower occurs every year when the Earth passes through the cloud of debris left by Comet Swift-Tuttle. AFP PHOTO / MARCO BERTORELLO (Photo credit should read MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty Images)
A photographer prepares to take pictures of the annual Perseid meteor shower in the village of Crissolo, near Cuneo, in the Monviso Alps region of northern Italy, on August 13, 2015. The Perseid meteor shower occurs every year when the Earth passes through the cloud of debris left by Comet Swift-Tuttle. AFP PHOTO / MARCO BERTORELLO (Photo credit should read MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty Images)
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"The Perseids appear to radiate from the constellation Perseus, visible in the northern sky soon after sunset this time of year. Observers in mid-northern latitudes will have the best views. You should be able to see some meteors from July 17 to August 24, with the rates increasing during the weeks before August 12 and decreasing after the 13th," NASA said in a skywatching video.

"Remember, you don't have to look directly at the constellation to see them. You can look anywhere you want to — even directly overhead."

The best time to see those meteors is at around 11 p.m. ET until dawn the next morning. 

You won't need any special equipment to catch the shower, either. Just make sure you have a clear view of a large swathe of the sky and be patient. Half of watching a meteor shower is waiting around for them to appear.

“Relax, be patient, and let your eyes adapt to the darkness,” Kelly Beatty, Sky & Telescope senior editor said in a statement. "The Perseids will put on a great show."

While you'll get the best meteor rates in a rural area, far from light pollution, you still might be able to see some meteors from a city or suburb. 

If you are in a city, try to get somewhere at least somewhat sheltered from lights, maybe a park or backyard. Your meteor rates will be lower, but it's possible to see at least a few of the brightest meteors over the course of a few hours. 

The Perseids happen each year as Earth passes through the trail of dust left behind by the comet Swift-Tuttle, which makes a full orbit of the sun every 133 years. 

Those bits of cosmic dust fall into our atmosphere, creating the bright streaks we see as meteors in the night sky. 

If you're unable to see the Perseids this year in person, you can always watch them online. The Slooh observatory will host a livestream of the shower starting at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday. 

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